Friday, August 26, 2011

Angelo State 2011 Preview

2010 Recap
The season opened well, as the Rams defeated Eastern New Mexico and Texas A&M-Commerce. Things got tougher over the next six games as the Rams would face 4 playoff and 1 bowl team from 2009.  Though they played tough in each of the games, they came up short in five of the six contests, ending their  playoff chances.  They did finish strong, knocking off Southeastern Oklahoma and Central Oklahoma to finish the year with a 5-5 record.

The Rams offense was in high gear setting a team record for points per game (34.5) and second in yards per game (421.1).  Those marks were each good for fourth in the conference.  Josh Neiswander set team records for passing yards (2,983) and TDs (27).  His favorite targets were V'Keion Lacey and Dakari Pecikonis, who combined for 101 catches for 1,407 yards and 10 TDs.  Tristan Carter was the leading rusher, picking up 603 yards and 5 TDs.  The defense did not fare as well, finishing 6th in the LSC in  yards allowed (387.8) and 8th in points (30.3).

2011 Outlook
No position will be under as much scrutiny as the quarterback position.  Sophomore Blake Hamblin is expected to be the starter, but he has appeared in just two games, completing his one attempt.  Junior Michael Cochran also returns, but he has not attempted a live pass since the 2008 season, when he was pressed into service as a true freshman.  Also in the mix are senior Jake Strickler who threw for over 3,000 yards and 32 TDs at Mendocino College in 2009, and junior Gino Delucchi who logged significant playing time in two seasons at Cabrillo College.  Senior Tristan Carter (603 yards 5 TDs rushing) is the top returning running back and is a weapon in the passing game as well (30 receptions, 193 yards and 6 TDs).  Also returning are senior Nevin Gardiner and junior Samir Baker.  New Mexico State transfer Donovan Roberts could also be a contributor.

The strength of the team could very well be the receiving corps.  Junior Dakari Pecikonis, with 83 receptions for 1,595 yards and 12 TDs in two seasons, could be just hitting his stride.  C. J. Akins had 36 receptions and 6 TDs as a sophomore.  With the departure of V'Keon Lacey, look for Excelle Osborne and Donnell Harris to become big contributors as well.  Nate Bayless is back for one more season at TE, and is an early favorite for All-LSC honors.    Up front, four starters are back.  Austin Sumrall (2nd team LSC-South), Andrew Krutsinger, Ryan Merryman and Keefer Preece combined to start 36 games in 2010.  Seniors Greg Lewis and Stephen Boyles also had significant playing time as reserves and spot starters.  Newcomers Jesse Collins earned all-conference honors while at Cabrillo College and Rodney Smith also bring experience to the mix.

The most experienced group on defense is the secondary, where 5 players with at least 4 starts in 2010 are back.  Alvin Johnson had 4 intereceptions and was named as honorable mention on the LSC South team.  Joining him are seniors Jake Eannarelli and Terrance Preston and juniors Stetson Edwards and Dekkar Williams.  This quintet combined for 175 tackles, 9 interceptions and 15 passes broken up.  Austin Benson is top returning linebacker, but Lance Tissue and Joseph Schumpert saw a lot of playing time as well.  Don't be surprised if true freshman Colton Lyon is in the rotation as the season progresses.

There will be quite a few new faces up front on defense.   B. J. Bradley, Nick Alejandro and Godwin Ubah combined for just 44 tackles, 6.5 for losses and 3.5 sacks in 2010.  That is pretty much it for returning experience.  So it's no surprise to see a large influx of transfers who could help immediately.  Lawrenc Rumph (Navarro JC/Texas Tech), Kyle Patterson (All Conference for Mt. San Jacinto College), Mike Mosely (Northwest Missouri), Lance Williams (Blinn), Wayne Blackwell (Ventura College), Orlando Humble (Navarro JC)...well, you get the idea.  This was an area of concern that has been addressed.

George Shamblen could contend for All-American honors after averaging 43.4 yards per punt as a junior.  Jared Martin and Greg Jaynes will compete for placekicking duties.  With Garrett Tidwell gone, Dakari Pecikonis is the leading returning return man.  He averaged 23.7 yards on kickoff returns with one TD, and also had two punt returns for just 12 yards.

Out with the old
  • QB Josh Neiswander - Angelo's all-time leading passer with 8,212 yards and 61 TDs. 
  •  WR V'Keon Lacey - 127 receptions for 1,447 yards and 15 TDs in two seasons. 
  •  FB John Norcott - 2nd team all-LSC South in 2010 
  •  OT  Conner Cook - HM all-LSC South in 2010 
  •  DT Cody Smith - HM all-LSC South in 2010 and 2008, 2nd team in 2009.  Had 25 career tackles for loss. 
  •  DE Devin McDonald - HM all-LSC South in 2010, tied for team highs with 8.5 TFL and 4.5 sacks in 2010. 
  •  LB Brandon Mayse - 2nd team all-LSC South in 2010, 62 tackles, 2 Ints, and 4 passes broken up in 2010. 
  •  CB Markeith Jones - HM all-LSC South in 2010 and 2009.  9 career interceptions and 14 passes broken up.
Welcome back
  • RB Tristan Carter - 603 yards and 5 TDs rushing, 30 receptions, 193 yards and 6 TDs. 
  •  WR Dakari Pecikonis - 2nd team all-LSC South in 2009, 2010.  83 recs, 1,595 and 12 TDs with 2 years to play 
  •  WR C. J. Akins - 36 receptions, 548 yards and 6 TDs 
  •  TE Nate Bayless - 2nd team all-LSC South, 44 career receptions, 470 yards, and 5 TDs. 
  •  OG Austin Sumrall - 2nd team all-LSC South in 2010 
  •  OL Andrew Krutsinger, Ryan Merryman, Keefer Preece - 26 combined starts in 2010 
  •  LB Austin Benson - HM all-LSC South in 2010, led team with 66 tackles, tied with 8.5 TFL and 4.5 sacks 
  •  S Alvin Johnson - HM all-LSC South in 2010, in 2 seasons, 83 tackles, 6 Ints, 9 passes broken up
  •  DB Dekkar Williams - 42 tackles, 2 Ints, 5 passes broken up in 2010 
  •  CB Terrance Preston - 31 tackles, 3 Ints in 2010. 
  •  DB Jake Eannarelli - started 8 games, 28 tackles, 2 TFL 
  •  P George Shamblen - 1st all-LSC South, averaged 43.4 yards per punt
In with the new
  • QB Blake Hamblin - poised to take over QB spot after backing up Neiswander last year 
  •  QB Jake Strickler - threw for 3,200 yds and 32 TDs for Mendocino College, was a San Jose State commit 
  •  RB Donovan Roberts - spent three years at New Mexico State 
  •  OL Rodney Smith - first team all-region as a soph at Modesto College 
  •  OL Jesse Collins - two year starter at Cabrillo College
  •  DL Wayne Blackwell - 41 tackles, 11 TFL, 3 sacks at Ventura College in 2010 
  •  DL Kyle Patterson - first team all-region as a soph at Mt. San Jacinto, 11.5 TFL 
  •  DL Mike Mosley - 31 tackles, 5 TFL at Northwest Missouri in 2008 
  •  DL Lawrence Rumph - One of the top JC prospects in 2010 while at Navarro College 
  •  LB Colton Lyon - #78 MLB prospect by

All Conference Candidates
  • WR - Dakari Pecikonis (All-American Candidate)
  • TE - Nate Bayless 
  •  OL - Austin Sumrall 
  •  DL - Godwin Ubah 
  •  DL - Lawrence Rumph
  •  LB - Austin Benson 
  •  DB - Alvin Johnson 
  •  DB - Terrance Preston 
  •  P - George Shamblen (All-American Candidate)

Big Games
Week 2 - at Chadron State  The Eagles have not made the playoffs the past two seasons, but sport a 50-11 record over the past 5 seasons.  They have a lot of guys returning, especially at the skill positions on offense.  This is a great non-conference matchup on paper.

Week 9 - Texas A&M-Kingsville in San Angelo   To make the playoffs, the Rams need to knock off at least two of the teams picked ahed of them in the preseason poll, and they have come close to beating the Javelinas the past two seasons, dropping the two games by a combined 10 points.

Best Case Scenario
9-2   The Rams get solid quarterback play, and the defense shows improvement over last season, allowing ASU to sweep their non-conference schedule, and split with the top 4 preseason picks in the LSC.
Worst Case Scenario
4-7   The defense does not show marked improvement and allows 30+ points per game, while the offense struggles to find it's footing early on and becomes turnover prone trying to make the big play.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Lone Star Conference

Angelo State University

Cameron University

Eastern New Mexico University

Texas A&M-Commerce

Tarleton State University

Texas A&M-Kingsville

Texas Woman's College

University of Texas of the Permian Basin

West Texas A&M University

Western New Mexico